Cimetidine (tagamet) and Benzo warning


Crazy Cat Lady
With myself as the unintending guinea pig, I found out something very interesting.

I usually take Pepcid as a heartburn treatment and am on Ativan for anxiety/panic.

The other day, I went to buy Pepcid and drug store was out, so bought Tagamet.

Took one, and about an hour later, took my usual dose of Ativan. An hour after that, I was so stoned that the only option was to take a nap. (my usual dose of Ativan has no effect other than treating the conditions its prescribed for.)

Once I woke up and the Ativan wore off, I called my pharmacist. Once I mentioned Cimetidine, she said, "Oh yeah, you just found out something that's common knowledge amongst druggies: Cimetidine uses the same enzyme pathway that benzos do. So, if you take Cimetidine with benzos, it uses up the enzyme needed to break down benzos, intensifying the effects, and causing them to last much longer. I hate it when I see someone either coming in to pick up a benzo RX with a few bottles of Tagamet, or buying several bottles of Tagamet at a time."

So, if you suspect your kiddo is using benzos, keep an eye out for Tagamet/Cimetidine as well. It makes a bar or two of Xanax, etc., go a lot harder and farther. It also increases the risk of an OD.

Me? I learned my lesson. I didn't OD...just got knocked out on a minimal dose of a medication I've been taking for years. I went to another store and got some Pepcid. The Tagamet is sitting in my "spare medication" drawer until I can bring it out to my mother Monday. She takes Tagamet on Dr's orders and will be glad to have a free bottle with one tab missing.

Just keep an eye out for this one. I knew nothing about this, but according to my pharmacist, and some internet research, it's common knowledge with benzo abusers. It NEVER occurred to me that a heartburn medication would interact with a benzo.

Just glad I take a very low dose, and was in a situation where I could just go and sleep it off.


Active Member
Thank you so much for sharing this. My mom takes clonazapam for tardive dyskinesia and occasionally will take a pepcid if her reflux is bad. I could totally see her taking a tagamet if her pepcid wasn't available.